China, EU leaders announce completion of investment treaty talks as planned
Published: Dec 30, 2020 10:55 PM

China EU Photo: VCG

Chinese President Xi Jinping held a conference via video link on Wednesday night with the leaders of Germany and France, President of the European Council Charles Michel and EU President Ursula von der Leyen, at which leaders of China and the EU jointly declared the completion of negotiations on a long-awaited investment treaty.

2020 is a very special year for the world as well as China and the EU, with the COVID-19 pandemic deeply interwoven with big changes unseen in a century and a rising number of unstable and uncertain factors, Xi pointed out, noting that under such circumstances, China and the EU have risen up to the challenges and joined hands to push for bilateral relationships to come into fruition.

The two sides achieved the planned goal of completing the investment treaty talks within the year, Xi stated, stressing that reaching the "balanced, high-level, and mutually beneficial" investment pact demonstrates China's determination and confidence to open up at a high level, and it will provide broader market access, a better business environment, stronger institutional guarantees and brighter prospects for bilateral cooperation. 

The bilateral investment treaty (BIT) will also push post-COVID global economic recovery, promote global trade and investment liberalization and facilitation and enhance the international community's confidence in economic globalization and free trade so as to contribute China and the EU's efforts to build an open global economy, Xi said. 

China is committed to building a new development pattern, which is set to provide more market opportunities for Europe and the whole world and create greater space for cooperation, he went on to say, expressing hopes that the European side can hold onto free trade and multilateralism and provide Chinese investors with a fair, equitable and non-discriminatory business environment. 

Xi vowed that China and the EU - two of the world's major powers, civilizations and markets - will enhance mutual trust, properly manage differences and join hands to kick off a new start in 2021. 

The pact shows that even if China and EU have differences on some issues, both sides have the political willingness to enhance dialogue, deepen cooperation and realize mutual benefits based on mutual respect, he said.

The leaders from the EU said despite being hit by COVID-19, the EU and China still kept in close contact at senior levels and saw big progress on a series of issues, including the European geographical indication, and the completed BIT is a milestone for the future development of the two parties. 

They said that although there are differences on some issues, the two parties have the political will to enhance dialogue and cooperation based on mutual respect and realize the win-win benefits.

Chinese and EU leaders exchanged New Year wishes and jointly said they would maintain close communication in the new year, push major agendas for the bilateral relationship and press ahead with the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership. 

Global Times